Wrecked airship receives historic honors.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Seventy-five years after it sunk into the Monterey Bay, the U.S. Navy airship USS Macon is getting its due honors.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Feb. 11 that the resting place of the wrecked dirigible and four associated Sparrowhawk biplanes, more than 1,500 feet under the bay's surface, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The wreck site includes the airship hangar with four biplanes, five engines, parts of an aluminum stove, dining table and bench.
"It was intended to serve as a scout ship for the Pacific Fleet and had the ability to launch and recover Sparrowhawk biplanes," reads a press release from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. "In service less than two years, the Macon, based at Moffett Field in Sunnyvale, Calif., was damaged in a storm on Feb. 12, 1935, and sank in the Pacific Ocean off Point Sur, south of San Francisco. All but two of the Macon’s 83 crewmen were rescued by nearby Navy ships."
The USS Macon joins the side-wheel steamship Tennessee, which was deemed historic in 1981, as a local sunken wreck of note.